Course Name
Paradigms in Physics: Quantum Fundamentals
Course Number
ph425
Year/Term
2024
Display other available years here.
Course Credits
3
Class meeting times
7 hours of lecture per week
Prerequisites
Recommended PH 213 and concurrent enrollment in MTH 341
Course description
Introduction to quantum mechanics through Stern-Gerlach spin measurements. Probability, eigenvalues, operators, measurement, state reduction, Dirac notation, matrix mechanics, time evolution. Quantum behavior of a one-dimensional well.

Topic/Day

Activities

Resources

Homework Due

Day 1 M 2/12
Welcome to QF!
Magnetic Moment
Stern-Gerlach Experiment: Measuring Electron Spin
Day 2 Tu 2/13
Quantum State are Vectors
McIntyre 1.1-1.2
Two Sequential SG Experiments
McIntyre 1.2
Three Sequential SG Experiments
McIntyre 1.2.3
Day 3 W 2/14 Math Bits
Pretest (Please come to class if at all possible--nothing to prepare for)
Review: Operations with Matrices
Day 5 F 2/16
Components of a Complex-valued Vector
Abstract Vector Spaces and Inner Products
(Optional, Advanced)
Review the Anatomy of SG Experiments
The Probability Postulate
McIntyre 1.2
Multiple Representations of Quantum States
McIntyre 1.3
Day 6 M 2/19
In-Class Quiz on Matrix Multiplication and Determinants
Multiple Representations of Quantum States
Day 7 Tu 2/20
Multiple Representations of Quantum States
Practice Probability Postulate & Normalization
McIntyre 1.2
Day 9 Th 2/22
Day 10 F 2/23 Math Bits
Day 11 M 2/26 Math Bits
Projection Operators/Completeness Relations
McIntyre 2.2-2.4
Day 12 Tu 2/27 Math Bits
Finding Matrix Elements
Day 13 W 2/28
The Projection Postulate
Quantum Operators
McIntyre 2.1
Day 14 Th 2/29
Quantum Interferometer
McIntyre 1.1.4, 2.2.4
Intro to Higher Spin Systems
McIntyre 2.7
General Quantum Systems
McIntyre 1.4
McIntyre 2.2.1-2 McIntyre 2.8
Day 15 F 3/1
In-Class Quiz on Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors
Dirac Representations of Operators: The Decomposition Theorem
The Squared Spin Operator
McIntyre 2.6
Expectation Value & Uncertainty
McIntyre 2.3, 2.5, 3.1
Day 17 Tu 3/5
Quantum Expectation Values
McIntyre 2.3
Day 18 W 3/6
Quantum Uncertainty
McIntyre 2.3, 2.5
Day 19 Th 3/7
Quantum Uncertainty
Solving the Schrodinger Equation & Time Evolution
McIntyre 3.1
Spin Precession in a Uniform Magnetic Field
McIntyre 3.2
Introduction to Wavefunctions
McIntyre 5.3
Day 21 M 3/11
The Infinite Square Well
McIntyre 5.3-5.4
Day 22 Tu 3/12
Wavefunctions
McIntyre 5.1-5.2
Day 23 W 3/13
Time Evolution of a particle in an Infinite Square Well
Day 24 Th 3/14
Quantum Spookiness
McIntyre Ch 4.
Representations of the Infinite Square Well
McIntyre 5.4, 5.5.6, 5.6.6, 5.7
3/18 M noon-2pm
Final Exam